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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
How to seperate this room for a studio?
      #1034668 - 22/02/13 01:00 PM
Hi! I'm in the process of acquiring a room to turn into a small-scale studio. Leakage, treatment and such are not a problem, what I was wondering however is how I should partition it?

The room is 5.9m x 4.3m and a height of 2.85m with two doors, two windows and a radiator. I've mocked up a quick sketch here. (The bottom door is the access door, the other is not used, so was thinking control room at the bottom and live at the top.)

As I cannot really take out the radiator, unless there is no other option, I was thinking maybe splitting across diagonally from top left of the diagram to bottom right, or vise versa, but pulling out a bit in the middle to make a larger live room.

What do you guys think?

Also, which I'm here, am I right in thinking the partition wall (at a low cost!) would be-

Few layers of plaster board, rockwool, plasterboard, few inch gap, plasterboard, rockwool, plasterboard?

Thanks a lot guys!

Jonny


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10834
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034670 - 22/02/13 01:27 PM
I can't see your image from here but construction wise I would suggest that you don't have the inner layers of plasterboard. I would suggest that you go for 12mm acoustic plasterboard/Green Glue/19mm plasterboard/stud support and rockwool for both parts of the wall. Having the rockwool exposed to the inner cavity will help reduce sound bouncing around in there.

If you want even more isolation then add a layer of 15mm acoustic plasterboard and Green Glue on the outside of each wall. I would also suggest building the wall on a compliant layer of neoprene or similar on the floor. I used strips of carpet underlay made from recycled car tyres under the walls in my studio.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1034676 - 22/02/13 01:40 PM
Thanks a lot, that does sound better, probably go down that road then. Will the rockwool just stay in place against the stud wall? Or does something need to hold it in place? Chicken wire or something?

Jonny


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10834
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034692 - 22/02/13 03:02 PM
I think I just ran some green garden wire along the back to help keep it in.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034769 - 22/02/13 10:10 PM
Thanks, I'll give that a go!

I imagine I'm going to end up sticking a lot more questions on this sub forum as this project goes underway!


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GIK Acoustics



Joined: 05/09/12
Posts: 111
Loc: Atlanta, GA & Bradford, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034786 - 23/02/13 12:17 AM
Johnny, no image here either. Would love to comment on it if I could see it!

--------------------
Alexander Reynolds
GIK Acoustics USA (770) 986 2789 | GIK Acoustics Europe +44 (0) 20 7558 8976 (UK)


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4556
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034812 - 23/02/13 09:34 AM
Don't split it diagonally. It'll be an acoustic nightmare. I'd split it between the one of the windows and the rad. So that way you'll have two rectangular rooms with 4.3m being the long side. One will be 2.5 and the other 3.5 or whatever. It very much depends what you wish to do in there as to how you design the acoustics of each space and which serves as the control room and which the live room. Generally speaking the bigger space will probably be better for both functions so you need to make a choice over what to prioritise.

Be aware that unless you build two complete rooms within the space (walls floor and cieling) the isolation will be very limited. This is due to the sound travelling mechanically along the connecting surfaces. It's like sticking your ear against a wooden table top and having someone tap at the other end. That's a possibility in the space that you have but you'll end up with significantly smaller rooms and lower ceilings.

From an acoustics point of view, you'll find that you have to err on the side of 'dead' rather than 'live' in such a small space.

Here's another option...Go for an all in one approach. Track and record in the same room, maybe just separating off your computers to minimise fan noise etc. Could you work like that?

Jack

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034829 - 23/02/13 12:16 PM
Is the link not working? I'll get some more links with a few more angles too and ideas.

Turns out we can take out the radiator, so could just split in half, easily fit a drum kit in there and everything in the control room, so that would be good.

I would rather split into two rooms, it has been driving me crazy all this time having to wear earplugs or headphones while recording drums, and I have a bit of a budget so think I'll give it a go! A project if nothing else!

You guess you are right about the dead sound, going to be recording all sorts, mainly rock and such, so a close dead sound would work better than a failed 'big' sound!

The walls and (as I recall) ceiling and hard brick, so would a room-within-a-room really be necessary? It could at least be something to look at in the future if I do find there to still be a problem.

Would a lowered ceiling be an improvement you think? Would that again be (bearing in mind I know very little about construction! Luckily my dad who will be helping me does!)

Acoustic plasterboard- green glue- plasterboard- rockwool and support?

Along the same lines, I know right angles and corners in a studio are a pain, so if I was to board across the four corners (making it effectively an un-even octagon, would these just be filled with rockwool? Or can they just be layered in the support like the partition wall would be? There would be an acoustic panel on top too. Or is this just over-kill?

The space was actually the control room of a studio, funnily enough, where the live room is now a part-time office, but has been stripped to the brick.

Thanks a lot for the help, a lot of questions I've been reading everything on this forum I can trying to get a few answers before I jump in! So I owe you all a beer for the help!

Jonny


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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034830 - 23/02/13 12:43 PM
So here's a few pictures, please excuse how crude they are! Again, the dimensions are 5.9m x 4.3m and a height of 2.85m, and turns out the radiator can be removed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69686808@N04/8499398277/ Is the layout

And another angle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69686808@N04/8500505690/

And I was thinking-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69686808@N04/8499400507/

And another angle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69686808@N04/8499403179/

So there is the partition wall there (obviously thicker than in the drawing), the boarded up corners. Not all the acoustic panels are there, obviously. It would bother me that the listening position is not central in the room, so not really symmetrical, so any ideas?

So there you go!
Jonny


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4556
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034840 - 23/02/13 02:15 PM
Yeah in an ideal world you would have non-parallel surfaces in the control room. But you lose quite a bit of space that way.

A few questions

Do you see yourself as more of a tracking guy, or a mixer? I still think you may do better to really optimise one side of the coin...EG...say you're a musician and engineer, you will probably get your tracks mixed elsewhere if they're for release, then I'd say make the live room a little bigger. OTOH if you're really looking to turn out masters then the acoustics of the control room will be very important. You will probably be running some of your tracking sessions in larger commercial studios and tracking vocals and guitars etc at your place. You could get away with a small live room.

Re the brick...It might sound really great for drums. It might be that you should keep that brick (having tested it out in there) and just build an isolated control room in the other side of the room. It wont be as well isolated as if you build two rooms, but you cant recreate the acoustic of the brick inside a new structure obviously. Now, here's the issue...You say that noise etc is no problem. Are you assuming that a brick wall will stop the noise of a drumkit? It won't. It won't even nearly. The building will shake. So what else is going on in this building? Is the cieling also brick or is it a timber construction with boards? What is the floor made of?

Ceiling height...You're starting with 2.85 which is the bare minimum for a room within a room to work. The lower the ceiling the more problems you have acoustically (it's not quite that simple). You're going to end up having to make it very dead which will probably suit rock guitars and vocals quite well, but the drum sound won't really work. It'll be tight and dry. It won't be big and it won't breathe if you know what I mean. You might get something cool in the room as it is. Just have to see.

You need to work out a way of ventilating the spaces and possibly air conditioning them.

Doors are a crucial 'weakness' in terms of isolation.

I'm not a builder but I've been through this process a couple of times. It's very easy to spend quite a lot of money and make fundamental mistakes which cause the project to fail. I think you should hire someone experienced to design the build out for you and give that to your dad to follow.

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1034843 - 23/02/13 02:43 PM
Hmm, couple of interesting things there.

This is, as you might have guessed, my first studio straight out of university, so what I'm doing there is literally whatever work I can get, so it will be a combination of mixing and tracking and doing the whole thing, so a modest balance of the control room and live room seems reasonable. A 'dry' drum sound does not worry me really, I know it's not ideal, but a balance of everything and a general space is what I'm striving for.

I don't want to make it seem like this is a huge endeavour, it's just good to have a space where I can do what I want while I can! Worth a shot. So I really am wanting to keep costs down.

Because of this I want to keep costs down, and I know two rooms within rooms would be ideal. The building is just it's own building on a farm compound, solidly made and not bothering any neighbors! Finally.

I'm not really sure what the ceiling and walls are, I think I'm selling them short saying brick, it's like a bunker!

I can always improve on things, much rather that than lose out a lot of money! So I was thinking just a 2-later wall with a gap, acoustic panels and a 'cloud' of acoustic panels for the ceiling. Seems to be the minimum to me! Not sure what you think, would like to know!

Jonny


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4556
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034851 - 23/02/13 03:26 PM
OK brilliant...so soundproofing isn't an issue. All you need to worry about is acoustics and separating a space*

* Now when you say it's on a farm...are there going to be combine harvesters driving past every five minutes? Are there a load of hungry cows right nearby? Can you secondary glaze the windows to cut down noise from outside? Because this would affect you if you were recording quieter sources like vocals and acoustic guitars. You might then choose to build an enclosed live room rather than an enclosed control room, and then just heavily acoustically treat the remaining surfaces in the control room area.

If it's literally a bunker the acoustics issue you'll have is that you'll get a lot of bass bouncing around in there. When you have a more traditional domestic construction some of the low end passes straight through and away. In this sort of situation you get more of it coming back at you, so you need to budget for bass trapping.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Jonny Duddle



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034873 - 23/02/13 05:34 PM
Nah, there is nothing like that. Like I said, it was a studio before and guy I'm renting off said when it was, you had to had to almost literally put your ear to the wall from outside to hear it.

Bass trapping you say? Hmm, I had considered it but wasn't sure to what extent I'd need it, but now you mention it...

Would this likely just be like acoustic panels but triangles of rockwool with fabric over in the corners? All the other panels I'm making are broadband. Could I not just put these in the corners? Or would that not be enough?

Thanks a lot for your help anyway, it has made me reconsider a lot of things! For the better

Jonny


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4556
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1034924 - 24/02/13 08:58 AM
No problem...If you're making up broad panel absorbers then you're half way there. Yes, it's more or less a question of putting rockwool in the corners, but it's a whole topic to itself and has been quite extensively discussed on here, so just try a quick search and you'll find loads of photos and descriptions. OR you can hire someone like Max Hodges to sort out the internal acoustics for you, build and install the trapping with you etc. OR you can buy ready made commercial products at a very affordable price from someone like GIK who manufacture here in the UK and are an excellent company with awesome products. It's just a question of cost and the time you want to spend.

I still think if it was me, that I'd put all my money into acoustic treatment and movable screens. I know what you mean about working in the room with the drums but I think it'll sound so much better in the end and you'd have a more flexible space. You could screen it off quite a lot. It wouldn't suddenly be quiet but it might stop making you blink every time the snare hits!

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10834
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1035085 - 25/02/13 10:17 AM
I don't usually disagree with Jack but, having tried working in the same room as the drums, I really like to be able to hear what is going down properly and hear the effect of changing something or moving the mics without having to record a bit and then play it back.

The plan in my new studio is to have a drum section partitioned off with bi-fold doors so that I can do it both ways.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4556
Re: How to seperate this room for a studio? new [Re: Jonny Duddle]
      #1035095 - 25/02/13 10:58 AM
Fair enough. Good plan.

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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